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2023-04-15 - 7:15 a.m.

OK Less worried that my kid is not prepared for the overseas job.
Although argued with me when I texted (or emailed) that housing is not included

sibling said the soon to be college grad did do research and found and affordable housing option and has a plan (hostel like)

I also read
"Housing is not included in the benefits package for participants, so this is paid out of the teacher’s salary. However, typically teachers’ furnished housing is arranged by the contracting organization that hires them (you may “inherit” it from the last participant), making the process of getting settled easier."

Some Asian counties DO typically include housing in the actual benefit package for teachers.

It turns out we actually have some very close persons in the circle of family who have friends and family in that host county.

WHEW That makes me far less worried.

Super excited for this kid/young adult.

Also supe proud of the other young teacher in the family! My older kid who graduated just LAST year has almost made it through her first year as a teacher.

I have not talked of her here as it is her story

But just will say this:

My kid was hired as 4th grade classroom teacher- has her own class, in a city school. Took the teach grant so needs to teach for 5 yrs for that to be paid off and loans forgiven in a lower income area. Her subject areas of teaching are Social Studies and Science.

If you followed the news in Education across the county very fact of that will mean something

YEAH 4th grade HISTORY

in Virginia.

I mean the science wars in education happened years ago. ( Oh but they will be back...)
The Southern creationism perspective and religious views are strong.

That was a battle won years ago and science won.

YET there are families with kids in the classroom who come in and when teaching of clouds one little kid pronounced "God can do anything" and when teaching the science of clouds the kids of course wanted to say how they see things in clouds

I mean who wants to be the adult that tells kids NOT TO SEE THINGS IN CLOUDS?

I think my child teacher ROCKED it in how she taught actual science but also RESEPCTED the religious tradition and teaching from the families that the kids brought into their classroom with genuine childlike faith.

She was not going to burst their bubble of faith so taught the science of cloud formation but allowed space for the children to also self express what their parents taught them.


It is not indoctrination in a public school when you let kids express who they are in the moment as parts of families who are religious.

As long as you as a teacher let ALL kids share who they are.

A GOOD TEACHER Won't squelch any of these kids as their identities are shaped by family.

I mean really

YET the battle of teaching science in schools in this state seems to have been won only by polarizing and removing all reference to religion, and apparently that is still status quo apparently, based on stories I heard from her classroom teaching experience. She got in trouble from admin from letting kids express their beliefs! It was not in fact taking away from them learning actual science. They can bring the science home and have the conversations with parents- She was teaching solidly. BUT she let little kids BE.. AS THEY ARE in the moment and allowed space for EXPRESSION. AND she got in trouble for it! It was wild. Reminded me of how when I visited schools for my kids one I visited got a HELL NO when I watched a teacher CORRECT a little kid who sang the traditions "This old man went up to heaven" I mean the teachers are TRAINED to CORRECT and not let kids sing that in some schools!

This is still a problem. But not telling her story other than I GET IT Why folks homeschool!

YET... the homeschool groups were driven by different folks in different states. In MD one leader who pushed for them is an atheist. Here in VA where I live the religious right drove them (Home School Legal Defense fund birthed in my area.) Those same folks pushed the agenda of also changing what is taught about history in recent years! WHAT?? and push the agenda of getting diverse materials for reading removed now from schools.
Moms for Liberty is a force to not be ignored now. They sound like trying to protect freedom, but that is just BS. They want to limit freedom of speech. They are AFRAID of homosexuality and ideas that are not aligned with their religious views. They are scary as seem appealing on face with their talking points of saving democracy and education by keeping the constitution in schools but have really hidden agendas that are antithical to the basic tenants of freedoms of democracy ( like free speech and religion! They don't want freedom of all religion but to curate their OWN in schools!)
I mean agendas are so hidden I am sure some do not know their agenda and might have supported their calls to action clueless of their actual agendas! I mean this is the group that found the graphic novel of Anne Frank threatening to moral teaching. Really? Like they might assume graphic means pornographic when it means CARTOON style drawing! It was the TEXT of ANNE FRANK which for goodness sake has been a classic...
and they pushed for its removal in a high school. REALLY?? YES REALLY

so there is EVIDENCE that the materials they are trying to get out of schools are informed by DAR style censorship.

Reality is there is a history of pushing for quality moral materials but then what is removed is defacto disproportionately materials telling cultural stories, or culturally significant historical factual stories that are Black or Jewish. I mean no one is censoring the BIBLE yet there is as much violence and shocking depiction of ugly in that as there was in the Diary of Anne Frank. Talk about wars and genocide... just read the Old Testament people if you want raw and ugly.
I bought The Action Bible. Trust me it is captures the gory reality of war but somehow Anne Frank's description of going to a museum and its inclusion of a nude is more threating to teaching HIGH SCHOOL students Christan values?

It was so ridiculous to me. I mean I have ranted about this lack of understanding between church and state for years. (The "Snow Pants Warm and Fuzzy" song as the highlight of the "Winter Program"- It was just so odd to me that in a small rural VA town the elementary school kids could not have a Christmas program 25 years ago.)

Yet I think this improved... a little.

However only when there was an influx of immigrants, from India and surrounding area actually, who came here and wanted to celebrate Dwali in their lives, in their work, in the schools out in the eastern part of the state where they live and work and educate their kids. So those moms and dads live and work and become involved in schools and a shift has happened over the last 20 yrs.

I estimate 10 years ago there was a welcome change where school kids started celebration Christmas again in schools!
What is so wonderful and funny about this is that when I was working at Verizon where you could not mention Christmas at all as the culture of the company then (as all orgs/schools were) I will never forget my JOY at making and taking calls to India where the gracious folks/partners I was working with would be so exuberant in wish us a Merry Christmas. (See the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel which I think Netflix may have to understand this culture clash which was WONDERUFL and welcomed by me!)
* This in part was reaction to the EXCESS of just a few years earlier! I mean during the tech bubble there were LAVISH Christmas parties! HA HA I mean in the 80s early 90s it was not religious centered for sure but those stories of the parties of then in the corporate world are not exaggerated. ( Thinking of the show Serious Money captured this time- which my son was an actor in once which told of that time ; oh my the licensing for this show is affordable in the UK! I went to one of those AOL Parties back in the day at Union Station in DC.
YES There were Christmas trees and decorations galore! IT was stunning!
So the sterility of just a few years later was shocking to me in the VA schools.

SO in this area, there has been a backlash against the sterile culture FINALLY
and I see where it came from- Immigrants working here!

The folks coming to re-design our operations systems.
Trust me our back-end tech has been FIXED (not kidding) in recent years by many very talented INDIAN engineers and programmers. It Doesn't matter what sector you look at: Tech , Fintech.... etc...
it is not only call centers routed to overseas, but you have a neighbor I am SURE from India who is doing solid work somewhere (if you live in any of the areas where there are tech sectors for work.)

*It is not a lie that India (and both U.S. and London schools many of the upper class Indian's go to study) in the recent years have been producing capable INDIAN talent in tech, not a mirage or falsehood we kinda actually NEED Their talent. Not untrue there is a crisis of not ENOUGH U.S. born scientists and mathematicians to fill the jobs and be competitive and not a myth that this country of ours was BUILT on immigration labor and NEEDS it, not just at the manual labor level but at professional level of working with BRAINS and also still needs to remain the place to attract top talent from around the world.

So the way I see it- there was a backlash against the sanitizing any culture from inclusion of faith AT ALL in certain spaces. We addressed that well in some places but then the CHRISTIANS who were upset they could not express faith seem to have a faction MOST vocal who are squelching OTHER'S Expression-
the culture wars continue, the trying to curate who creates the societal norms in our schools and community orgs.

And the religious right have kicked up their participation in being VESTED in shaping culture for sure.
Some factions we least expected.
NPR did a fantastic job on the
We went from 25 to 20 years ago the societal organized secular systems and orgs being AFRAID of ANY religion lest considered indoctrination
to ACCEPTANCE and a point
to factions curating what is included.

OK So back to my darling daughter who has what I think in Virginia has to be one of the HARDEST jobs this year.

Schools are still not as integrated in allowing expression of ideas. Plain and simple. They are still trying to figure it out.

Workplaces did better. We are back to socially allowing Christmas parties, because the Indian folks brought us the joyful dancing of Diwali in colorful traditional dress with spicy fragrant food.

Come on now, the Christian were not going to remain SILTE about their tradition in the fact of exuberant jolly MERRY CHRISTMAS acknowledgements from their Indian co workers
they could not HELP but just Love.

I mean you work with some of these marvelous folks and you can't not like and after years develop actual real relationships.

That changes people's perspective.

I loved my boss at Fannie Mae who reminded me of my mother...

she did have close relationships with some of the Indian counterparts but let me tell you , I watched a process of her growth.

No kidding...
I mean think of it- those older folks who quietly accepted the paradigm shift of workplaces and schools disallowing expression of their religion. They ACCEPTED this,
then in a few years they are expected to bring a pot luck dish to Diwali celebrations.
after Christmas was in all practicality BANNED

they might have some strong feelings

I get it

But then the Indian folks BRING BACK the CHRSITMAS PARTY TOO!

It was kinda marvelous to watch this in the span of the five years I worked there.

This alongside shifts of other diversity in workplaces.

And schools
and communities

So the culture shifts/and culture wars will likely always be with us to some extent

But back to the point:

Heck God Bless my kid who made it through the first year of teaching both SCIENCE ( which I am telling you WAS the hot potato for years in VA)

AND HISTORY in the year the whole freaking state is just CRAZY (I mean not just VA . We have FL etc.)

and folks are fighting to allow actual history to be retained in the curriculum.
Teachers, at least some of them, are actually on the front lines in this.

Its been a crazy year in education.

So for a first year teacher, I am extremely proud of my kid.

She is soon to finish having made it through.
I mean a hell of a tough year.

Teaching not for the faint of heart....oh wait...
Is POTS "faint of heart?"
Nevermind that...

other than yeah
Proud this teacher who is a chronically ill actual working disabled person and takes ownership of that as part of their identity, is proud made it through working the insane hours required as a first year teacher the year teaching history was under fire, and Queer people are under fire as well.

Oh yeah
Just realized that
My kid uses MX as their title.

Not MS

That was a new one for me. I had never heard of it.

So yeah, proud this kid has made it through.

SO it is perhaps with great irony that she was SO HAPPY I was able to buy a ticket for a FL Vacation!

much of the world is talking of how awful FL is. But hey- my family is there,

so I am so pleased that I had enough airline points that I actually booked tickets for ALL THE KIDS who live in this state (those with me and the teacher- her flight from her city) to go to FL to visit my family there!


Family Vacation! I just had to pay taxes at first for 4 tix. $44! (OOPS I had to then re-book due to one conflict. But no worry- $180 later all good.)

I did that thing where was like "GET IT DONE" and just booked the tix not sure if all could make it. This is a GREAT ADHD TIP

GET it done and FIX IT LATER


or WAIT til get it done right, or perfect to act.

I mean if I had not booked the WRONG flights one AM when awoke during the adrenaline wake up rush, I might not today have tickets for all of us that DO work.

Having to correct the wrong dates is more motivating after having sent email to all about the initial booking

than the THOUGH in head "Oh have to plan the trip".

I am so proud got that done! I also then booked a beach side camping trip at a state park for a cheap vacation a couple months later. WAS ON A ROLL!!

That was only $90. I mean $30 a night for a site. Can't beat the National Parks and Regional Parks system. So two family vacations planned.

I know that time with family has to be prioritized. We end up growing in the spaces we invest our time and attention.

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